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Queens Chronicle

Hey, NYC: Parks are not landfills

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Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2019 10:30 am

The truck rambled through a wooded section of the park, those behind its mission thinking it would be far from prying eyes. Pulling into a clearing, it disgorged its load: stinky sludge, empty bottles and cans, myriad bits of trash.

Who was the perpetrator? An unscrupulous contractor avoiding the cost of clearing a construction site? A fed-up landlord who just evicted a slob and thought he could cut corners? A store owner closing up shop and wanting to save every last penny in his retirement?

Nope. The entity that last week committed this violation of law and common sense, this crime against nature, this snub in the face of everyone who does his or her best to separate trash from recyclables, was our own Department of Parks & Recreation. Who knew the stewards of our green spaces think they should double as temporary garbage dumps?

The place damaged by the department’s utter callousness was Forest Park. Luckily, area resident Frank Schorn caught the truck spewing its nasty discharge on video. Councilman Bob Holden saw it, CBS did a story and presto! The crap was cleaned up. However ...

Parks claimed the mess, taken from sewer catch basins, is nontoxic. Really? This street sludge contained no motor oil or other chemicals? Seems unlikely. Regardless, would you want your kid playing on the ground it had been dumped upon? The agency then refused to say which other parks, in Queens or not, it abuses in this disgusting manner.

Parks should know that parks are not appropriate way stations for garbage. C’mon, it’s 2019. Respect the Earth. We can’t believe we have to say any of this.

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